Aadhaar has been in the news for a number of reasons in the past couple of years. The government has been pushing for linking various schemes with Aadhaar whereas a number of parties claim that without proper amendments in the current law, Aadhaar can easily be used by the government for surveillance and it can impact the right to privacy of Aadhaar holders. The government, on the other hand, claims that the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act, 2016 does not approve any agency to mine data from UIDAI’s database. Aadhaar helps the government and the citizens in different ways.
Talking about the positives of the revolutionary identification programme, which is the biggest initiative of its kind, it can be said that Aadhaar helps the government and the citizens in different ways. People may question the Aadhaar Act, but it has already helped the government in saving a huge chunk of subsidies which was being looted from the government through dubious means. Let us have a look at how Aadhaar has had an impact on the life of a common man first.
Impact of Aadhaar on a Common Man
It is said that democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people. It modifies existing laws and makes new rules for the betterment of the society. Aadhaar is one such tool which can cause a positive influence on the lives of people both in the long term as well as the short term. Let us have a look at some of the ways in which Aadhaar has impacted the life of a common man:
- A Reliable Biometric Identity Proof
Aadhaar has become one of the most reliable identity proofs as of today. It contains your biometric details along with your demographic data. Even if you do not have the original copy, you can download the e-Aadhaar and use it in place of Aadhaar.
- Opening a New Bank Account
Aadhaar allows a person to open the bank account instantly. They can do KYC easily and start operating their accounts instantly. Many banks allow for door-step account opening thus saving people from a lot of paperwork.
- Getting a Passport and Its Renewal
You can use your Aadhaar card to get a passport in as less as 10 days. You have to just apply online and provide your Aadhaar details as the proof of identity and residence. You get the appointment within 3 days and you will get the passport in a week.
- Filing Income Tax Returns
You can file income tax returns quite easily with the help of Aadhaar. It helps in reducing the documentation and thus making it extremely convenient for the user.
- Storing Documents Digitally
The government allows every Indian to store certificates and documents digitally and share it whenever required through the DigiLocker app. You can get documents issued by Government institutions as well. You can get your driving license issued or academic certificates stored in your DigiLocker account. You do not have to carry original documents everywhere you go but you can access them anytime and anywhere.
- Online PAN Applications
You can now apply for a new PAN or reprint your PAN card online and get it delivered in as less as a fortnight. You do not have to send any document proof for verification. Just opt for Aadhaar-based OTP authentication to digitally sign your documents that will act as the document proof for NSDL. This method not only saves you from the paperwork but also helps in getting the PAN card in a short time.
- Claiming Subsidies
You have to link your Aadhaar number with government schemes to claim subsidies. Your bank account should also be linked with Aadhaar to avail the subsidy. Earlier beneficiaries could not get the complete compensation that they were eligible for due to various reasons such as corruption, inadequate paperwork, etc. Now the subsidy amount is delivered directly in the account of the beneficiary. The time required for this disbursal has also reduced significantly giving more relief to the common man.
- Easy to Carry and Share for e-KYC
With the launch of the mAadhaar app, you can easily carry your Aadhaar wherever you go. You can make your profile in the app and download your Aadhaar in it. It is safe and secure enough and needs a different pin to open the profile. The app also allows you to share the e-KYC in the digital format preventing unauthorised access.
Impact of Aadhaar on the Government
Not only the common man, but also the government has benefitted a lot from Aadhaar. It has saved a lot of money that in turn is being used for the betterment of the country. It has also helped a lot in making the delivery system more efficient. Let us have a look at some of the achievement of the government after the implementation of Aadhaar:
- Tracking Benami Property
In the latest Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amended Act, 2016, the government has made rules regarding real estate properties. As per the act, people will have to mention their Aadhaar in property documents. It will help in tracking down the benami properties.
- Effective Subsidy Disbursal Mechanism
Linking various subsidies with Aadhaar has allowed the government to disburse subsidies in an effective and targeted manner. The government now transfers the subsidy amount directly into the account of the beneficiary. This not only helps in disbursing the subsidy quickly but also helps in eliminating the involvement of middlemen and plug the hole through which huge chunk of the subsidy amount was weeded out from the system in the form of black money.
- Removing Ghost Accounts and Individuals
Aadhaar has also helped the government in removing a huge number of ghost accounts from the system that were opened only to avail the benefits of subsidies provided by the government in a dubious manner. It also helped in eliminating ghost individuals that were registered to dupe the government illegally. With the help of Aadhaar, the government has been successful in weeding out these accounts and individuals to save billions which were otherwise leaked in the form of various subsidies.